Widower Wednesday: What It's Like Dating a Widower

One of the reasons, or so I’m told, that GOWs and WOWs find this website and support groups helpful is that unless you’ve actually dated a widower, it’s hard to understand the unique issues that arise and must be worked through. Instead these women are often told by those who have never dated a widower is it’s like dating a divorced man or any other guy “with a past.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In order to help others better understand what girlfriends and wives of widowers sometimes have to worth, I’ve compiled a list of issues that can come up when dating a widower. The purpose of this list isn’t to slam those who are widowed. There’s nothing wrong with widowers wearing a wedding ring, planting a memorial garden, plastering their homes in photos of the late wife, organizing a 5k in her memory, or anything else on this list. They only get in the way when widowers start dating again and get serious with someone.

That being said, here’s the list. Feel free to add your own to the comments section below. And big thanks to the GOWs and WOWs on Facebook who helped compile it.


How many divorced or single men:

  • Have shrines to their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends in their living room?
  • Hold the ex-wives/ex-girlfriends as a perfect saint who can never be spoken ill of?
  • Have a giant portrait of the ex-wives/ex-girlfriend on the wall of their office?
  • Have the ex-wives/ex-girlfriends clothing in the closet?
  • Have the ex-wives/ex-girlfriends make-up and other toiletries still in the bathroom?
  • Have the ex-wives/ex-girlfriends lingerie and sex toys in their chest of drawers?
  • Want to be buried next to their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends?
  • Have a bedroom in their home dedicated and reserved for the family of their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends?
  • Talk about how their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends were great athletes, professionals, moms, and an all around perfect human being?
  • Wear rings that symbolize their love for their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends?
  • Organize and participate in 5ks or other charitable events in the name of their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends?
  • Wants to be reunited with their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends in the next life?
  • Have the ex-wives/ex-girlfriends pots, pans, dishes, spices, etc. in the kitchen?
  • Have the ex-wives/ex-girlfriends voice on their answering machine?
  • Live in a house that has their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends touches everywhere?
  • Have photographs of their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends in every room?
  • Have tattoos of their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends that they’re not willing to get rid of?
  • Wants to spend time with the ex-wives/ex-girlfriends family?
  • Ask if you want the ex-wives/ex-girlfriends clothing, jewelry, or other personal items?
  • Tell you how often their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends took their breath away every time they looked at him?
  • Constantly compare you or have family members that constantly compare you to their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends?
  • Make a giant six-acre heart-shaped meadow for their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends?
  • Get a wistful expression on their face talk about the ex-wives/ex-girlfriends for hours on end?

Got more you want to add? You can do so in the comments below.